My job has lately had me producing a lot of video content for the Web, and I suppose my timing couldn't be better. Google just decided to roll out auto-captioning, which will vastly improve the accessibility of video files to search engines. And while Web videos are hardly a novelty, they're starting to influence conversations more and more. Here, then, are a few observations about what (and what not) to do when producing video for the Web.
The Financial Times reported on Monday that both Microsoft and News Corp. are in "early stage" talks for Microsoft to carry News Corp. content properties exclusively in its Bing search results pages. The proposal also reportedly calls for News Corp. to remove its content properties from Google. But I suspect that these early talks may be just that: only talk. And I hope so, because while we can understand the goals and struggles that Bing and News Corp. face (and even the challenges other content publishers face), this is still not a good or sustainable idea for either them in …
Imagine for a moment that you're an iconographer. Your job is to create compelling images that convey unambiguous messages in a universal language. Now imagine that you're an iconographer for Google Maps. Your job is to create compelling images that convey unambiguous messages in a universal language -- on a canvas 16 pixels by 16 pixels in size. You need a 16x16 image that's going to say, "pub." Or "hotel." Or "Funky B&B for the young and the young at heart." How would you go about it? My friend Patrick Hofmann happens to be the iconographer for Google Maps, …
Signs of revival are everywhere -- even given a buying public that's now chastened, more cautious and committed to frugality. Macroeconomic indicators are trending positively, companies are reporting profits again, and goods and services are being delivered more efficiently than ever. The business of selling, however, will remain a real challenge for the foreseeable future. But the way in which people now shop and buy is very good for search.
If you have a child in the 18- to 36-month-old range, you may recognize the catchphrase of the "Wonder Pets" in the title above. I happen to have a two-year-old who enjoys the adventures of the Wonder Pets -- three animals who each episode set out to save a poor, innocent animal using their can-do attitudes and, yep, teamwork. So what do these Nickelodeon creations have to do with search? The Wonder Pets, in their "team together" philosophy, exemplify the greatest area of growth still needed in the search space.
Avinash Kaushik, Google's Analytics Evangelist, will be kicking off the Search Insider Summit in just two weeks. I had the opportunity to chat with Avinash last week about what might be in store. As anyone who has heard him before would agree, it won't be-sugar coated, it will be colorful and it will probably wrench your perspective on things you took for granted at least 180 degrees. Here are the three basic themes he'll be covering.
Today we close out the chapter on business lessons learned from Google. As much as I like a good top-ten list, I couldn't whittle this one down, so here are numbers nine through eleven, staring with: 9. Follow the law of averages at your own peril.
How do people engage with your product or service? Do you sell something like kayaks, which become a part of people's lives, passion and identity? Or do you sell couches, which tend to only interest people while they're shopping for them? A Twitter search for "kayak" reveals all sorts of conversation about people indulging in their favorite activity, conversation that a kayak manufacturer could participate in to become part of the community. A Twitter search for "couch," on the other hand, reveals conversation focused on laziness -- not exactly fodder for potential couch sales.
So I am sitting around with some friends last weekend watching sports on TV. We get to laughing about the E*Trade baby ads. Well, what do you know? We ended up whipping out the laptop and searching for the ads to watch them a few times. What a brilliant creative execution -- and how brilliant that we were able to re-enjoy the ads again together as friends. Then of course, much to my friends' chagrin, I started waxing poetic about the merits of SEM, video, and social media optimization. My point is that great creative begets the need for video …
This past Saturday, I married the love of my life. Now begins the process of changing my last name; but, contrary to what most people go through with the legalese of adopting their spouse's surname, I am now tasked with rebranding myself. Search Insider reader audience should accept the "Janel Landis is now Janel Laravie" change fairly naturally, but my ultimate goal is that Google will suggest to users searching for Janel Landis, Did you mean Janel Laravie?